Westlake edged by Grammar in dramatic match
In a game that was literally decided with the last kick of the match, Westlake lost in heartbreaking fashion to traditional rivals Auckland Grammar School. In a game that could be crucial to both team’s chances of qualifying for the top tier of the Secondary Schools National Tournament, Westlake were desperately unlucky to end up empty handed.
Both teams took a while to settle and the first quarter of the game saw little in the way of flowing football or scoring opportunities. On the half hour mark Westlake seemed to come to life and enjoyed an extended period of dominance as their passing and movement asked questions of the home team’s defense. Matt Conroy’s pace saw him find space on the right and when his cross found Drew Farnsworth only a desperate block from an opposition defender, followed by their keeper, kept the game scoreless. Farnsworth then combined cleverly with Conroy to get through on goal, his shot beat the keeper but unfortunately also the far post. Westlake were then desperately unlucky not to take the lead when View Rungpao’s speculative shot rebounded off the bar with Grammar’s custodian stranded. The home team were defending desperately and Conroy again had a sight of goal but couldn’t find the power needed to finish. The half time whistle came to Grammar’s rescue as Westlake continued to look likely to make the break-through they deserved.
The second half began in a similar vein to the first as both teams refused to give an inch. It was Westlake who finally got the upper hand in the 66th minute. Left back Clarke Foulds overlapped and whipped a cross into the opposition box. Rungpao’s challenge caused the keeper to fumble the ball and Conroy took the chance to volley powerfully home. Westlake should have doubled their lead four minutes later when the Farnsworth forced a mistake before passing to the surging Lough who flashed his shot wide with only the keeper to beat.
Westlake were soon to regret that miss when they suffered a double blow as they were reduced to 10 men, with the dismissal of defensive midfielder Jack Pirie, and then conceded a scrappy goal after failing to deal with a free kick crossed to the far post. Grammar now sensed an opportunity for a win and pushed forward in search of another goal. This arrived m another set piece as Westlake again struggled to clear their lines from a corner and the ball was bundled in from close range. Westlake were rocked but dug deep to find an opportunity to level the match time up on the clock. Conroy used his and pace to beat two defenders and was scythed down as he was about to shoot from 12 yards. Captain Greg Nimmo accepted the responsibility but his spot kick was well saved by the Grammar keeper and the referee whistled for full time. Westlake’s next match is a Premier league fixture against Sacred Heart College, Friday 10th June, 7pm kick off.
Team: Bradley Williams, Greg Nimmo ©, Clarke Foulds, Harrisson Piper, Daniel Lough, View Rungpao, Bronson Kelly, Matt Conroy, Drew Farnsworth, Jack Pirie, Trent Baker. Subs: Tyrone Stretton, Joe Benbow, Abdul Al-Majmuei and Daniel Mitten.
AGS 2 vs WBHS 1, Premier League 4/6/16, Goal: M. Conroy (66th)